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Why Do Engineers Hate Marketing?

  • Have you heard about the lost balloonist?

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realises he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man below says: "Yes. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees N. latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees W. longitude."

"You must be an engineer" says the balloonist.

"I am" replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well" says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but your information is useless, and the fact is I am still lost."

The man below says "You must be in marketing."

"I am" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well", says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you are going. You have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but now it is all my fault."

Everyone knows that engineers and marketers mix like oil and water, which is a shame because incorporating essential marketing information into research and development is what drives successful innovation. Rivalry between Engineering and Marketing has been around for a long time because engineers accustomed to having a lot of clout are not keen to share power with marketers, and often mistrust the quality of the marketing information they receive.

If you are an engineer or a marketeer - take a look at these templates to encourage you to work more closely together.

Consultants Online Find Out More 


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So if you want to combine oil and water, shake the concoction a bit. When the technical expertise of R&D personnel interacts with the deep customer knowledge of marketers, companies can enjoy improved products and higher customer satisfaction. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Consultants Online can organise a hands-on half-day “Innovation Workshop” for engineers and marketing staff to meet across departmental boundaries.

This is based on the two components that are the absolute fundamentals of innovation:

1. Clear Product Definition

2. A Market Orientated Team

If you don’t have these then it’s more likely your product development will fail.

Recent research has shown the Probability of Success Score is a good indicator of the potential outcome of your project.

Enter a score between 1 and 5 for each question ....


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